Comments Sought before Synod: Consultations Provide Chance for Feedback on Issues

Article excerpt

STAFF WRITER

Toronto

As the Canadian church inches closer to another General Synod, some of the decisions of the last gathering will come under scrutiny in coming months. And it is the people in the pew who will have their say.

A series of two-day consultations, scheduled to start last month, were designed to elicit feedback on seven issues.

They are a project of the church's mission co-ordination group, representing all national standing committees, working with the financial management and development committee and the implementation team monitoring the church's strategic plan, approved at General Synod 1995.

The implementation team is also responsible for making suggestions to the next General Synod, to be held next May in Montreal.

Seven issues the diocesan consultations will touch on are:

Proportional giving formula. While the current formula asks dioceses for their "fair share," based on parish income, a new proposal would focus on a diocesan-based income formula.

Feasibility study to determine what kind of nationally co-ordinated fund-raising strategy dioceses want and need.

Role of provincial structures. Many people consulted in 1994 about the strategic plan questioned ecclesiastical provincial structures, some saying that regional gatherings might be more helpful. (The national church has no legislative authority to deal with provincial structures, but it can forward comments to provincial metropolitans.)

Form and function of General Synod. …